Friday, December 07, 2018

Suit Charges Mormon Church With Dominating Utah In Change To Marijuana Initiative

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in a Utah state trial court challenging the Utah legislature's enactment of H.B. 3001 which weakens a medical marijuana initiative passed by Utah voters last month. According to an AP report, the new law, among other things, bans a number of marijuana edibles; bars people from growing their own marijuana if they live far from a dispensary; and narrows the list of eligible medical conditions for which the drug can be used. The original Initiative was opposed by the Mormon Church, and H.B.. 3001 reflects a compromise designed to prevent the legislature from completely repealing the Initiative measure. The complaint (full text) in Epilepsy Association of Utah v. Herbert, (UT Dist. Ct., filed 12/5/2018), alleges in part:
This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief arising from, first, the unconstitutional violation by the Utah Legislature of the constitutional right of the People to directly pass legislation through the initiative process under Article VI, Section 1 of the Utah Constitution and, second, the unconstitutional domination of the State, and interference with the State’s functions, by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“the Church”), in violation of Article I, Section 4 of the Utah Constitution.
Art. I, Sec. 4 of the state constitution provides: "There shall be no union
of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions."